Super Easy Oil-Free Vegan Tomato Sauce

I was raised on this tomato sauce. This recipe was given to me by my Italian mother, and then I “veganized” it to create an oil-free vegan tomato sauce that’s compliant with the WFPB diet. And I’ll be honest with you, I can’t tell the difference. Not only is my version as delicious as hers, it’s way healthier. She starts hers with olive oil and Italian sausage, and the sausage really gives her sauce a great flavor. In order to replicate that flavor but keep the sauce meatless, I added fennel seed, a key component of Italian sausage. To complete the transition to an oil-free vegan tomato sauce, I swapped out her olive oil for white wine.

So no, it’s not a “start with a bushel of tomatoes and cook them down all day” kind of traditional Italian sauce, but it’s damn good. Let’s be honest. Who the hell wants to go through all of that every time you want sauce when you can buy canned tomatoes and sauce, saving both time and money? Not me. And probably not you.

Feel free to customize this recipe to suit your tastes. Add mushrooms, veggies, soy protein crumbles, whatever you like. Enjoy!

oil-free vegan tomato sauce

Super Easy Oil-Free Vegan Tomato Sauce

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Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 8

What you’ll need

  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley
  • 2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 28 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 12 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¼ cup raw sugar

How you’ll do it

  • Pour yourself a glass of wine. You deserve it.
  • Pour some of the remaining wine into a large stock pot, enough to cover the bottom. Keep some nearby in case the pot (or your glass) dries out.
  • Add the diced onion and cook on medium until the onion is soft and translucent.
  • Next, add fennel seed and minced garlic. Cook another minute or so until the garlic is soft and the fennel is fragrant.
  • Add garlic powder, garlic salt, parsley, and Italian seasoning. Stir until wine is soaked up by onion and spices and no liquid remains.
  • Pour in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water. Stir until paste is dissolved and well-mixed.
  • Add sugar and stir until dissolved into sauce.
  • Keep sauce on medium until it starts to bubble. Be sure to stir frequently to prevent burning. Once sauce begins to bubble, simmer on very low heat until you’re ready to eat (at least 2 hours). Remember to stir every once in a while!

Did you make this? Well, what did you think? Leave a comment and let me know how it came out, or if you have a question about the recipe, fire away!

Do you have a favorite recipe you’d like to share on KevCooksPlants? Send it to me at and I’ll take a look (and of course credit you when it’s posted).


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  3. Natasha Spearman-Isip says:

    Well, Kev, it is a wonderfully thick and tasty sauce, I’ll definitely do it again, but will leave out the sugar. as it was too sweet for us. A keeper! Much better than any jarred low fat sauce.

    • KevCooksPlants says:

      Thanks Natasha! Everyone has their own tastes when it comes to pasta sauce, so I understand. I’m glad you’ll be able to enjoy your own version of it though. Here’s to delicious and easy oil-free pasta sauce!

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